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North Africa


The Interaction of Religion and Politics in the Public Sphere

Contributing to Alleviating Islamist-Secular tensions in North Africa by Promoting Peaceful co-existence among Political Actors with Different Worldviews

This project aims to alleviate Islamist-Secularist tensions across the region; reduce the factors leading to the political exclusion of religiously-inspired political actors, and promote political participation of a larger scope of the social fabric, representing different worldviews; include religiously-inspired actors who suffer from political exclusion, especially among the youth. The underlying theory of change is that engaging in a dialogue and exchanging understandings will sensitize both secular- and religiously-inspired actors to different contributions that can be achieved in an “agreed civil space,” and will therefore support depolarizing the debates and bridge the religious-secular divide in the region.

In periods of fragile political transition acute polarisations lead to instability and chaos, which pave the way for the return of authoritarianism or civil war. Over forty experts and political actors from North Africa, West Asia and the Sahel, belonging to both Secularist and Islamist currents, met and discussed issues related to building trust and establishing a framework for cooperation among actors of different worldviews.

 إنّ الاستقطاب الحاد في سياقات الانتقال السياسي الهشة غالبًا ما يؤدي إلى حالة الفوضى، ممّا يمهّد الطريق لعودة أنظمة الاستبداد أو للاحتراب الداخلي. التقى أكثر من أربعين مشاركًا من الخبراء والفاعليين السياسيين من شمال أفريقيا، وغرب آسيا، ومنطقة الساحل، ينتمون إلى التيارين العَلماني والإسلامي، وناقشوا قضايا متعلقة ببناء الثقة وإرساء إطار للتعاون بين فاعليين ذوي منطلقات فكرية ورؤى كونية مختلفة.